Multispectral photoacoustic tomography provides mapping of the tissue chromophore distributions using sets of tunable laser wavelengths. With the overall goal of studying the dynamics of cerebrospinal fluid in mice in vivo, our work aims to minimize the number of wavelengths to reduce scanning time, improve the temporal resolution, reduce the energy deposition and avoid the tracer photobleaching while maintaining high image quality. To select small sets of wavelengths we directly searched for the combinations of wavelengths providing the best and worst image quality in comparison with a reference image obtained using 131 closely spaced wavelengths between 680 and 940 nm in terms of the peak signal-to-noise ratio (PSNR). We have shown that using the PSNR optimization method, additional improvements could be achieved over the wavelength set selected using the method of the minimization of the extinction matrix condition number.

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